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About Us

The District 39 Educational Foundation has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1993. We are an independent volunteer group that raises and grants funds for projects that expand, enrich, and complement educational opportunities for the students, staff, and community in District 39. We provide programs and materials through our Gripp Grants that our community is not able to fund with tax dollars alone. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees includes parents, teachers, business owners, and other members of the District 39 community.

The Foundation’s Mission

  • Promote educational innovation and excellence
  • Encourage community involvement and support for education
  • Challenge educators to raise their aspirations for educational programs
  • Increase students’ global awareness and understanding of human diversity
  • Expand opportunities for students to fulfill their varied interests and talents

Foundation Trustees for 2016-2017


Margie Karabas – Chair
Liesel Brown – Vice-Chair
Melissa Murray – Treasurer
Tiffany Laczkowski – Secretary

Committee Chairpersons

Liesel Brown – Fundraising Chairperson
Katherine Byrnes – Board Development Chairperson
Hana Rivkin – Math and Science Co-Chairperson
Sarah Sloane – Math and Science Co-Chairperson                                                           Susan Parker – Marketing Chairperson
Heidi Mayer – Fine Arts Chairperson
Tracy Peacock – Gripp Grant Chairperson

School Liaisons

Arielle Heneghan – Harper Liaison
Amanda Doblin – McKenzie Liaison
Lucy Burne – WJHS Liaison
Susan Pekar – Highcrest Liaison
Sara McSpedon – Romona Liaison
Liesel Brown – Central Liaison

Tina Baer
Kerry Hasbrook
Sandy Karwowski – Romona Teacher
Anne Kelly
Ray Lechner – Superintendent
Genny Lennon
Rebecca Lieber
Jai Liriano
Erin Lyons – PR
Elizabeth McKenna
Linda McKenzie
Natasha Miller
Lisa Ryan
Robin Shapo
SarahJane Titterton
Jen Truszkowski
Alexandra Vastardis – HMS Teacher
Brenda Werth
Katie Woodman

Honored Lifetime Member

Sam Mikaelian